Winter Season Concert information is seen below the first four paragraphs containing a short Karl King biography.
Karl King was born on February 21, 1891 in Paintersville, Ohio. After his childhood in Ohio, he left at the age of 19 and traveled for 9 years with several different circuses, conducted several of their bands, and reached the pinnacle of success as conductor of the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus Band during the 1917 and 1918 seasons. This concert will pay tribute to the varied styles of circus music he composed, featuring marches, an overture, an aerial waltz, ragtime, a galop, and much more.
King came to Fort Dodge in
the fall of 1920 to conduct the local Municipal Band, a position he held
for more than 50 years until his death in March of 1971. He published
nearly 300 compositions for Band, with nearly 200 of those being marches.
He was truly America’s March King. He is Fort Dodge’s most famous
citizen, with a highway bridge (one of only three in the United States
named after a bandmaster), a city park which contains his life-sized statue,
and a band shell, all named after him.
The nationally-known Karl L. King Municipal Band actually traces their origin back to the 1870’s, when Civil War veterans and local citizens formed the first band. Two competing groups existed for several years until they organized into the Fort Dodge Municipal Band around 1900. This group has had only five conductors in its past 117 year history. Jerrold P. Jimmerson is currently in his 15th season as Conductor of the band after a 43 year playing career, 11 of which were under the baton of Karl L. King. Dr. David Klee currently serves as the Assistant Conductor and solo flautist of the band.
The February 18th concert will be the Band’s annual tribute to former Conductor Karl L. King in honor of his birthday. A special afternoon of band music is being planned to include some of King’s best-known and most popular compositions, along with music that was published 100 years ago in 1918. Featured on the concert will be King’s 1918 march, “Sarasota”, dedicated to “Mr. John Ringling”, one of the famous Iowa brothers. Sarasota, Florida became the winter quarters for the Barnum and Bailey Circus and the Ringling estate.
The March 18 concert will be the Band’s annual Irish Concert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This concert dates back to the early days of the Band under Mr. King’s direction. A wide variety of Irish music is being planned, and will include an audience sing-along and everyone’s favorite Irish tune, “McNamara’s Band”.
The April 8 concert has become two-fold in nature in recent years. It is the Band’s annual Scholarship Concert, where talented high school seniors and college freshmen audition for three scholarships that the Band annually administers. In addition, this concert will tie into the annual cultural emphasis for Iowa Central Community College. This year’s featured country is Italy, and many musical selections are being planned to showcase this region. Highlighting the concert will be Rossini’s famous overture, “Italian in Algiers”, along with a medley of songs made famous by Tony Bennett with “Tony Bennett Unplugged”.
The Municipal Band will then perform at the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in Fort Dodge on Monday, May 27, before beginning a series of 8 summer concerts every Sunday evening from June 10 through July 29 in the Karl L. King Band Shell in Oleson Park.
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